Chinese Airlines Get Approval for More China-US Flights
Chen Shanshan
DATE:  Feb 27 2024
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
Chinese Airlines Get Approval for More China-US Flights Chinese Airlines Get Approval for More China-US Flights

(Yicai) Feb. 27 -- US authorities have permitted Chinese airlines to add more flights to the United States, further restoring the air links between the two countries upended by the pandemic.

Chinese airlines can increase the number of round-trip flights to 50 each week starting on March 31, the US transport department said yesterday. US carriers will also be able to operate more flights according to the principle of reciprocity.

Since China eased its Covid-19 restrictions, the number of China-US flights has gradually increased. Last November, the US allowed airlines from both countries to operate 35 flights a week, with Chinese airlines handling 35 round-trips and their US peers 31.

Chinese carriers flying to the US include Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, and Xiamen Airlines. They will likely apply to add more flights. Beijing Capital Airlines, which flew to the US before the pandemic, has also been given the nod to resume.

China-US flights has been relatively slow to return compared with those to other countries. At the start of the year, China-US flights were at only about 20 percent of the pre-pandemic level, while China-Europe fights were back at 84 percent, according to aviation information provider Flight Master. There were about 300 round-trips a week from China to the US before Covid.

The ranks of US airline pilots and air traffic controllers has not yet returned to what they were before the pandemic, an industry insider told Yicai. In addition, China-US flights need to bypass Russian airspace, increasing the cost and pressure on profitability, the person added, noting that these factors are contributing to the slow recovery.

Editors: Dou Shicong, Martin Kadiev

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Keywords:   Chinese Airlines,US Flights